Thursday, September 18, 2014

IndyRef 2014 Live Blog

06.30 - Final Result 

No wins by a large majority.

Update, 14.00 Friday - As noted in comments, when I say "large majority", I mean "large majority by comparison with the narrow squeaker that we all expected".

In all, a pretty brutal and disappointing night for the Yessers.  On the other hand, they should be pretty proud - they fought by far the better campaign, even if it was exceptionally bullshitty, and it took near enough the entire country coming out to vote to thwart them.  I'd say "hats off", if anyone still wore hats.

04.00 - Result 

Actually, fuck this.  Follow me on Twitter.

03.55 - Result 

Renfrewshire goes No on 87% turnout. 

03.35 - Result 

Inverclyde goes Naw by 0.2%.  A massive and devastating rejection for Alex Salmond personally, the Saltire and the very notion of Scotland itself, which will now surely crumble into nothing leaving only the North Sea above Carlisle.

03.00 - Result 

Eilean Siar announce their result in their heathen lingo, baffling all.

02.45 - Result 

Shetland goes strongly Naw as well, reflecting their skittish, uncertain nature when they aren't blinkered.  They look cute, but they can give you a nasty kick. 

02.05 - Idle speculation 

Glasgow and Dundee yet to report, so it could still turn out radically different.

Better Together HQ on TV celebrating like they've just beaten Liechtenstein 2-1 in the 97th minute, which both shows sheer brass balls and is entirely apt.

02.05 - Result 

Orkney goes strongly No to appease the Old Gods, to ensure that the harvest is bounteous and the maidens' wombs are fruitful.

Quote - Lord Summerisle: [singing] Summer is icumen in, loudly sing cuckoo. Grows the seed and blows the mead, and springs the wood anew. Sing, cuckoo! Ewe bleats harshly after lamb, cows after calves make moo.

02.00 - Godawful pundits 

Polly Toynbee and Danny Finkelstein explain to Andrew Neil exactly how much of a bunch of horrible bastards the Tories intend to be about Scotland doing exactly what the Tories wanted us to do.

The pundits think "Very reasonable" but I have to say that I think the Tories are going to go full Mad Max 2 on us for the crime of giving them a bit of a fright.

No doubt this will be a big thing with the Nats tomorrow as a thwarted and raging Alex Salmond makes a lot of noise about how the UK Government will punish Scotland for having the temerity to question them but, you know, the answer to that is - thanks to you, you twat.

Note here, in case there's a shock - I'm currently assuming it's going No. It may not.

01.40 - Trends 

It's all looking very No now, but I'm sticking with it.  Yes or No, I want to see tears.

01.30 - First result! 

Clackmannanshire, Scotland's smallest and diddiest electorate, votes Naw.

To be fair, we can't discount the possibility that that they thought they were being asked whether they wanted to ban tractors from the high street.

Of course, it'll be hilarious if it turns out that this election was never close, and the UK Government have been trolled into offering Devo Max for nothing.

I'm not in favour of Devo Max myself, though.  I've met MSPs and I'd rather hand executive powers to the fucking Wombles.

01.25 - Electoral count

Fire alarm going off in Dundee at count.  Well, you can only keep them off the crackpipe for so long.

01.15 - Nothing happening

Hardcore pornography break.  Back in 20 mins.

12.45 - Sensational news! 

Allegations of electoral fraud in Glasgow, reports the Herald.

Translation for non-Scots:  "Allegations of electoral fraud" is Old Scots for "The SNP think they've lost the referendum".

Update!  Apparently, a clear case of Sky News being even bigger fannies than usual.  Apologies for the joke about it, SNP types.

12.05 - Geography 

Time-filling now with debate about how the UK will look if the vote goes yes.  I've got contacts inside the Yes Scotland campaign and can reveal the draft outline, below:


12.00 - Anthem 

While the BBC run through a million variations on "We don't have a clue what's going on", allow me to suggest a viable national anthem alternative, upon which we can all agree, to the boring, joyless, tuneless, blarting drone of Flower of Scotland.  


11.45 - BBC Coverage 

Dirty tricks by the BBC as they invite John Redwood on to troll the No voters.  I'm already self-harming out of raw guilt.

Update - 11.46  What have I done?  Why, God, why?

11.35 - Polls 

Initial polls suggesting No 54% Yes 46% on a turnout of circa 80%, which is a backhanded compliment to the Yes campaign, I'd say - the Yes vote was so huge that practically every softly-No voter in the country has had to turn out to thwart it.

Not much comfort to the Yes camp if it goes that way I suppose, but then there's a long, long way to go. 

11.15 - Claims of misbehaviour 

YouGov reporting that 10% of No voters encountered "unreasonable behaviour" by Yes campaigners, and 5% vice-versa.

This is unsurprising and I'm glad to see that it's not higher.  Basically, large crowds of loud, flag-waving people are intimidating, even if they're all happy and friendly, and I doubt whether the big rallies were 100% happy and friendly.

As I said previously, there are occasions when big crowds of my countrymen waving flags are very welcome, and these occasions are called "football matches".  Political events, not so much.

11:00 - Social media 

Which hashtags were people using in the referendum? Bear in mind that many of these were tagged pretty neutrally by a lot of Twitter users:

1. #IndyRef 3.75m
2. #VoteYes 1.1m
3. #MeaninglessPlatitudes 439,000
4. #BelligerentRepetitionOfPartySanctionedPoliticalTalkingPoints 272,000
5. #BetterTogether 224,000
6. #PhotosOfCatsWearingFlags 222,000
7. #InsaneConspiracyTheoriesAboutReptileTories 190,000
8. #IncoherentCursing 188,000
9. #RubbishPhoneticScots 174,000
10. #SponsoredTweets 162,000

10:50 - A serious interlude 

As I said here, I voted no and hope it goes that way.

However!  I've no stronger attachment to the UK's nationalism than to the Scottish version and I'll survive in either country, so I'd say that -

- The best possible result is a decisive win for one side or the other, between 5-10% minimum.  There'll be a lot of grousing, but a clear and unambiguous result will let us get on with either setting up a new country or getting back to work on the one that we have.

- The worst possible result is a 50%+1 victory for either side.  A new independent Scotland with a tiny margin of victory isn't much of a mandate, nor is the same for the status quo.  The conspiracy theories will be rife and the resentment neverending.

So, let's hope for a clear result, whichever way it goes.

10:40 - Political Map of Scotland 

Foreigners baffled by the geography should see here, for a political map of the country explaining in-depth who and what is where. 

10:35 - Timings 

News coming in that if there's no clear result by 2am, we get to start phone-voting countries off the island.

10:30 - Demographics 

Who's voting Yes and No?  See below for my calculations on the matter, from yesterday.

10:20 - Opinion polls 

The pre-referendum polls have been solidly going around 48% Yes 52% No all week.

I'm hearing that in the event of a Yes win, the UK armed forces are expected to conduct airstrikes on YouGov headquarters and ICM pollsters have vowed to chuck themselves off bridges with live grenades duct-taped to their foreheads.

10:05 - Flag check 

A lot of concern about what the respective flags of the UK's constituent nations will look like post independence.  For the avoidance of doubt, see below...

The Saltire - the official flag of the Scottish National Party

Golf sale.jpg
National Flag of Scotland

rUK Flag.jpg

National Flag of the rUK

I actually think they're missing a trick with the rUK flag and should instead go for a new flag, with a picture of the old flag on it, but on fire.

You can have that one for free, Westminster heraldic experts.

10:00 pm - Evening All

Alright then, let's be getting this live blog on the road.  The beers are in the fridge, the coffee is in the pot and I've set my bile-gland to meltdown.  From now until - hopefully - the result of tonight's independence referendum, I'm going to be right here babbling on about the results as they come in.

Commentary will take the form of sarcastic jibes about politicians' appearances; bizarre and irrelevant digressions and increasingly incoherent, belligerent denunciations and cursing as the night progresses.


Anonymous said...

"large majority"?

flyingrodent said...

"Large majority" by comparison with the 49-51 result either way that I was expecting.

Anonymous said...

True, but quite small compared to the walk in the park everyone expected just a month or two ago. 45% of an 85% turnout voting for secession from this country is an awful lot of disgruntled people. (And there's probably just as many in England etc who are pissed off in their own way too)

Asteri said...

This is not a great victory for the NO camp. They had a 30% lead in May down by 20% on the day and that's after holes were being torn through the SNP's claims and all the dire warnings from the business community and open opposition from international figures. NO should have walked this not taken 55% after kicking the YES camp took in the last month.

I don't know much about Scotland but the SNP deserve some credit from for what they have achieved. Being a fringe party to unseating Labour, to getting a referendum that all other parties tried to prevent and almost winning it when independence was never one of their popular policies. Add to that seriously shaking the UK establishment and kick-starting a nationwide debate on the future of the whole country is no mean feat. If they actually had blown it after having the electorate on its side for the last 7 years, that would have ended them, they did better than expected.

Anonymous said...

More than 35% of votes in all districts from the central belt northwards were for independence. More than a third of votes in all districts were for independence. That suggests a widespread alienation.


flyingrodent said...

No, this isn't a great victory for the No camp and I've taken issue with them about it on quite a few occasions recently.

I'd also advise caution over the idea of "widespread alienation". As best I can tell from the people I've spoken to - and I've spoken to quite a few - is that the Yes camp was primarily driven by BellyFeel Scottish nationalism and resentment towards the Tories.

I'm not a big fan of the former, any more than I am of anybody else's nationalism, and I don't think the latter is a very good reason to trust e.g. Alex Salmond with a fundamental reorganisation of our society, for reasons that I've laid out quite categorically elsewhere.

Igor Belanov said...

Now that Salmond has retired again, what are the prospects for the SNP? They took something of a nosedive during his last sabbatical, do you think all the campaigning has inflated his role even further, or have other potential leaders emerged?

KBPlayer said...

A good question about what will happen to the SNP. They will have pulled in quite a few recruits from pissed off Labour voters - though whether they'll have the leadership is another question.

My question is whether Holyrood politics is going to be dealing with the independence question for ever more. Noes want to chuck the SNP out at any cost because this referendum has been a horrible ordeal. The energised, vibrant Yessers may vote for them to keep the matter on the boil.

If we vote according to this one issue, it means unconstructive politics. I'm inclined to vote Green - but they went indy. So do I stop voting for them in case they form a coalition to press for a re-run?

These are genuine questions, as they say. I'm not much clued up with Holyrood politics.

KBPlayer said...

Oh, and agree about the motives. Pissed off with Westminster was high on the list as well as the skirl of the tartan. And, to do a load of people justice, foodbanks and austerity. Some sizable nuts - but indy and setting up a brand new state an oversized hammer to crack them.